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                                 Number 1; Spring 2002

   

Pedagogical Spotlights Reviews Author Bios Feature Articles

Welcome to the first issue of Gender, Education, Music, Society (GEMS). This is the product of two years of work by many individuals. Notable among them are the members of the Editorial Board, who in addition to evaluating the articles included in this issue, helped resolve issues ranging from format and style to a wide variety of policies. Eleanor Stubley provided leadership for conceptualizing, designing, and realizing GEMS, while Janet Summers has contributed an enormous amount of technical support in putting this first issue together. We have made every effort to utilize the on-line medium as fully as possible, and encourage you to contribute to the Reader Notes section.

GEMS takes its title from the way in which light moves through prisms, creating within its own play myriad possibilities for defining ourselves and music education. This issue includes two feature articles: "A Wild Passion? A Wild Patience? A Wild Flower? Cultivating in the Feminist Theory and Music Garden" by Roberta Lamb, and "Where are All the Girls? Women in Collegiate Instrumental Jazz" by Kathleen McKeage. The pedagogical spotlight, "Teaching Music History from Outside the Closet," is by Eleonora M. Beck. All three of these articles were presented at the conference Feminist Theory and Music 6: Confluence and Divide, held in Boise, Idaho July 5-8, 2001. Jacqueline Reid-Walsh reviews Transforming the Disciplines: A Women’s Studies Primer.

Roberta Lamb’s contribution was the keynote address at the FTM6 conference. Her reflections look to the past as a means of both understanding who we have become and the directions feminist research might pursue in the future. Central to her remarks is the power of memory and the ways in which we must put ourselves as living, human beings at the center of our work. Lamb’s comments challenge us to continue reflecting on our research methodologies and the ideologies that drive them. They also give us pause to consider whether or not "being a discipline" within the larger academic musical enterprise is a necessary path to fulfilling our promise as researchers, scholars, and musicians.

Kathleen McKeage’s paper explores women’s participation in the instrumental jazz ensemble and course offerings at a U.S. mid-western university. Noting a discrepancy between women’s participation in high school jazz programs and those at the university level, McKeage followed the paths of three women who, while having elected to perform in jazz ensembles in their first year, subsequently withdrew to focus their education on what they considered to be "more realistic" goals. McKeage’s analysis poses a conundrum; namely, how to affect change within jazz programs when those who have been most affected by its stereotypes have left them. It also raises questions about the way in which gender interacts in other aspects of our music education programs to shape undergraduates’ perceptions of their own potential more generally.

Finally, Eleonora Beck’s article challenges us to consider the ways in which our own personal identities and past histories shape who we are as teachers. Outlining activities drawn from her own research and experience as a teacher, she conceptualizes music history as a space for students to explore their "evolving selves" as "creative" voices that bring to the classroom their own perceptions, insights, and webs of relationships. With activity plans and student achievements laid out side-by-side, we are asked to move beyond the question of gender to consider what constitutes an education in which the primary maxim is to be "true to oneself."

 

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